Thousands of firefighters filled Riverside Park yesterday to honor two of their own who died in the line of duty last year.
"It's very humbling," said FDNY widow Yetta O'Shea as the firefighters marched past her and her two sons.
O'Shea's husband, James, died from a heart attack shortly after putting out a blaze in Queens. O'Shea, 40, was a 17-year veteran of the department and the first firefighter to die in the line of duty after 9/11.
The department also honored Thomas Brick, 30, who was killed in a Manhattan warehouse fire last year.
Brick's parents said they realized how dangerous the job was the night their son fought his first fire nearly three years ago. He had joined the FDNY shortly after 9/11.
"The first night that he worked, I was awake all night worrying," said Margaret Brick. "Then he came home and he had been in a bad fire and he won a medal for it, so after that I decided to stop worrying."
Brick's father, Thomas Sr., was moved to tears by the firefighters who marched past him at the Firemen's Monument at Riverside Drive and 100th Street.
Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta both paid their respects to O'Shea and Brick and 14 other firefighters who died while off-duty last year.
"On behalf of 8 million New Yorkers," said Bloomberg, "I would like to thank the members of New York's Bravest for each day facing dangers the rest of us can barely imagine."